It was a national day of celebration when General Hospital’s Peter August was finally believed to be not merely dead, but really, most sincerely dead. We’re not kidding. There were social media hashtags and everything. GH viewers really, really, really were itching to see the end of him. Such a passionate outpouring might make The Powers That Be of Port Charles think they’d hit it out of the park with his reign of terror. But it was actually the exact opposite.
General Hospital: Love to Hate
We understand why GH’s writer and producers might think that fans cheering Peter’s (Wes Ramsey) dramatic demise meant that they created a successful super-villain for the ages, one that would be mentioned in the same breath as Mikkos Cassadine (John Colicos) and his even more venomous wife, Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), or Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom) or Peter’s papa, Cesar Faison (Anders Hove). Fans had very strong feelings about them, too.
But here is the thing: Yes, fans were cheering for those villains to get their comeuppance. But not to die. They wanted them to stick around to create more havoc, as evidenced by the enthusiasm for their periodic returns.
And then there were the villains that fans wanted to see reformed enough to stick around and become a part of the landscape. Think Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati). Or Franco (Roger Howarth). Or even Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), the now-beloved mob boss used to be a less beloved mob boss, who drugged teenage girls so they’d strip for him…and sleep with him. Yet fans didn’t want Sonny to die. They wanted him to reform and continue entertaining them.
General Hospital: Bombs Away
Not Peter. Fans didn’t want him to straighten up and fly right. Fans never wanted to see him again. You haven’t created a villain your viewers love to hate. You’ve created an annoyance they can’t wait to be rid of.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.